Right up until the chart below was prepared, it seemed the key point of this post was going to be that consumer sentiment is holding steady near some its best post-recession levels, but, in looking at the curve below it seems more important to ask what all the hubbub is about in the stock market that, according to some, is in some kind of death spiral.
Anyway, the American mood remained near its best levels since the 2008 recession as the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose from a final March reading of 80.0 to 82.6 in the first of two readings for April.
This is consistent with other recent measures of consumer confidence and, for this index, marks the highest level since last July. While the full-month reading for April could move lower when it is reported in two weeks, it is worth noting that sentiment was higher in only four other months going back more than six years. The expectations component rose from 70.0 to 73.3 and current conditions improved from 95.7 to 97.1.
Survey director Richard Curtin commented, “Economic news reaching consumers grew more favorable in early April. Net reports on changes in employment were more favorable, and negative mentions about current economic policies eased.”
Rising gasoline prices have yet to have a signicant impact on inflation expectations as the one-year outlook for overall price increases actually fell from 3.2 percent to 3.1 percent while the five-year outlook moved up only slightly from 2.9 percent to 3.0 percent.